We are guardians of peace, freedoms: President Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that peace cannot be established with weapons, as he commented on the attacks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“These PKK supporters are saying ‘peace’ all the time. Can peace be established with weapons? We are the guardians of peace and democracy. We openly loved you, not in a hidden way,” Erdoğan said during a rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on April 1, as he added that the PKK “doesn’t love the Kurds.”
“PKK terrorist organization is bombing what we have done. They are traitors, cowards and they don’t love my Kurdish brothers. As long as this brother of yours is in power, neither the terrorists nor any other calamity can touch you. Those who attempt to bestow their hands on your rights will find me and my friends facing them,” he also said.
Saying that Turkey cannot be what it is without Diyarbakır, Istanbul, the western province of İzmir, the Black Sea province of Trabzon, the southern province of Antalya and the eastern province of Erzurum, Erdoğan noted that “Diyarbakır is Turkey’s heart.”
“Diyarbakır is our heart and whoever wants to tear this geography apart from us, wants to rip our hearts out of us. Diyarbakır is Turkey’s seal. We will never allow it to be attacked. Our past and the future are common,” he added.
'My mayorship was taken away'
During his speech Erdoğan said that wrong practices were implemented on Diyarbakır during coup periods.
“Turkey has been going through very tough days for the past three years. In every era of history, we resisted the attacks on our existence all together. Especially in the coup periods, wrongdoings were made against Diyarbakır. Actually, people in all regions of our country suffered in those periods. My mayorship was forcefully taken away from me and I was imprisoned,” he said, referring to his four-month prison sentence for reciting a poem in 1999.
Erdoğan also said that natural gas will be given to Diyarbakır’s Ergani and Bismil districts this year.
“We should ask; what were you doing when you had the municipalities in your hands? Look how everything started to change after trustees were appointed. This is an issue of love. We want to bring Diyarbakır together with a stadium fit for its glory. Hopefully, it will be open to service this August,” he said.
During his speech, Erdoğan also commented on the renovation efforts in the Sur district of Diyarbakır, which was severely damaged due to the clashes between the security forces and the PKK.
“We want to make Sur into a place that suits Diyarbakır and our region. The renovation efforts are going sensitively because there are a high number of historical artifacts. The infrastructure of the region is being renovated completely. We will initially build 44 Diyarbakır houses and later add 2,000 more, before opening it for the service of tourism,” he said.
'We are determined to save our country'
Erdoğan also said that tourists don’t visit Diyarbakır because of the PKK.
“Why shouldn’t tourism explode in Diyarbakır? If there is terror, only agent terrorists come here and not the tourists. Are the agent terrorists coming here? They are. Their only business is to mix things up. They are mixers, but terror mixers. We are determined to save our country and our Kurdish siblings from the gang of hitmen,” he said.
Criticizing Europe for allowing the PKK to carry out its activities, Erdoğan said that “such a thing cannot be called democracy.”
“This treacherous organization won’t be able to destroy any of our citizen’s houses anymore. They won’t be able to take anybody’s political will via threatening them. They can take it hostage in Europe, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, but they can’t do it in Turkey. Their social democrat and socialist parties march with the members of the PKK terrorist organization. The members of the terrorist organization are sitting inside vehicles belonging to German police,” he also said.
Erdoğan also said that “they are ready to talk to anybody without weapons.”
“We are ready to talk to and walk on the same road with anybody who has something to say or has a concern. We only have one condition; no one should be armed and try to divide the country and the people,” he added.